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2 Minutes For: Game 7 & Luongo

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
     
  It had to come to this.


Game 7. Tonight. Penguins at Capitals.

In the words of Alex Ovechkin, tonight is “going to be pretty sick.”

LUONGO AND CANUCKS NEXT MOVE?

No one took Monday’s season-ending loss in Vancouver harder than goalie Roberto Luongo.

After losing 7-5 in Game 6 of their Western Conference semifinal series to Chicago, Luongo fought back tears in the dressing room. The former Panther blamed himself for the loss before excusing himself from a pack of media surrounding him.

“I think I let my teammates down tonight and its something that’s going to take a while to get over,” he began. “They had a few chances early and I made some saves, but the rest of the way I didn’t help my teammates out.”

Tears in his eyes, Luongo then said, “I’m sorry, guys,” before walking away from the media.

For Luongo, it doesn’t get worse than this. He allowed four, third-period goals on nine shots and, at one point, three goals on six shots in those final 20 minutes. This coming after his head coach Alain Vigneault had said at the game’s morning skate of Luongo; “He is our best player. He has to play accordingly.”

Luongo will also have to suffer the slings and arrows of defeat, judging by comments Monday evening in the Vancouver Sun. “Luongo came up small in the biggest game of the year.”

Luongo has always wanted to be part of a winning team, a Stanley Cup-winning team. But what now? The Canucks could undergo some big changes over the off-season. GM Mike Gillis has to decide what to do with unrestricted free agents the Sedin twins and Mattias Ohlund. And 38-year-old Mats Sundin has probably played his last game in a Canucks uniform.

And then there’s Luongo, who’s 30, heading into the last year of his contract, and probably no closer to winning a Cup.

Passing thoughts:

Miss California USA can retain her crown. Now we can sleep at night.

The Ducks were 30-1 to win the Stanley Cup just a few weeks back.

Pavel Datsyuk – no goals in six games against the Ducks. How frustrated is he? He’s fighting at the buzzer.

By the way, where are the Ducks without Jonas Hiller (17, third-period saves Tuesday) and Ryan Getzlaf, who has multiple points in five of his last seven games?
 
 
The Lightning have rewarded head coach Rick Tocchet a new two-year contract after guiding the team to a 19-33-14 record after replacing Barry Melrose. Why does that sound odd?

Got Montador?

Mike Modano, the highest-scoring U.S. born player in NHL history, will return for his 20th season next year.

Am I the only person who thinks the way to beat Simeon Varlamov is firing toward his glove side?

Thinking about the playing career of former Hartford Whaler Kevin Dineen, now head coach of the AHL Portland Pirates.

Song of the day: When Push Comes to Shove, by the Grateful Dead.
 
 
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